Ever wonder why if that property is such a great buy how come your real estate agent didn't just snatch it up? Well, sometimes agents do buy properties for various reasons, and they are looking for a deal just like everyone else. But when it comes to undercutting their own clients there can be repercussions. Just ask seller Carol Price of Denver and buyer Dominick Marchica (pictured) of Tampa Bay, Fla.
Price contracted with Realtor Mark Dyson to sell her dance clothing store before it went into foreclosure. Although there was at least one offer on the place for $268,000, Dyson never presented it to Price. Instead the place fell into foreclosure and Dyson purchased it himself on the auction block, and then flipped it for $265,000 to the man who had made the original offer.
"I should have presented the offer, that was my mistake," Dyson told 9Wants to Know, an NBC affiliate in Colorado.
When contacted by AOL Real Estate at his commercial real estate company CORE Holdings, Dyson said he did not want to comment. But on his website, he boasts that his firm is "well respected," that he "maintains the highest standards" and that "leasing strategies employed by Mark Dyson for commercial real estate have allowed clients to secure locations before competitors."
Still, he made a "mistake," and for that "mistake," Dyson, who claimed membership in the National Association of Realtors, is paying with his real estate license. Since Colorado law says a real estate agent representing a seller must present "all offers to and from the seller," the Colorado Division of Real Estate voted last week to revoke the Jefferson County agent's license. It also fined him $22,500.
"Justice was served," said Price. "I'm glad he got more than a slap on the wrist."
But down in Florida, things aren't too different. You would think someone might not want to
When Marchica put in a $52,000 offer on a foreclosed retail site around the corner from his home in Spring Hill, Fla., the listing agent for the bank, Cary Williams, told him the offer was too low.
"He was adamant that ... the bank would not come up short," Marchica told the Tampa Tribune. "We got a letter back ... it said the bank would not negotiate any further and they came back at a $62,000 offer."
Marchica, who was looking to expand his retail gun business from flea markets to a storefront, couldn't meet that counteroffer. But two months later the space sold for $40,000. But not to Marchica. It sold to the listing agent, Williams.
"What makes me annoyed is that this Realtor stone-walled me, refused to take my offer to the bank, played me, and then he bought it for himself."
But Williams told the paper it didn't play out that way. Instead, he said, "The bank turned down [Marchica's] offer in January. In March, things had changed, and they really needed to sell the property."
The Tribune reviewed the bank's counteroffer that was sent to Marchica. It contained a fax cover sheet with a note from Williams stating, "Please read over the changes the bank made and please call with any questions. This will be the only counter offer. Thanks."
Richard Adams, president of Heritage Bank, who held the mortgage note on the property, said he didn't authorize Williams to tell Marchica the bank wouldn't negotiate. "No bank wants to lose money on a foreclosed property," Adams said. "Especially not in this economy."
Although the bank took a $12,000 loss, it gets to write it off. For Marchica, he's still looking to buy a property. And according to the Tampa Bay Tribune, Williams says he's willing to sell it to him.
If you find yourself in a similar circumstance, there are some things you should consider.
Walt Molony, a spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors, says first figure out if you're dealing with a Realtor or any generic real estate agent or broker. Realtors are licensed members of the organization who "go above and beyond state licensing requirements by committing to a strict Code of Ethics." About 60 percent of all U.S. agents are Realtors.
"If there is an ethical issue regarding a Realtor member, consumers should first identify specific violations of the Realtor Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice," he says. You should then contact your local association of Realtors and tell them you would like to file a written complaint regarding a violation of the Code of Ethics.
You can also seek to file a complaint with a state-run board. The Colorado Division of Real Estate, a state-run commission, receives about 1,000 written complaints per year against brokers, salespersons, subdivision developers and appraisers, it says on its website. Approximately 15 percent of those result in some form of disciplinary action.
Sheree R. Curry, who has owned three homes and has rejected agents she felt were a tad shady, is a three-time award-winning journalist who has covered real estate for six years. During her 20-year career, her articles have appeared regularly in the Wall Street Journal, TV Week, and Fortune. She's been writing for AOL Real Estate since 2009 from a Minneapolis-area rental. She seeks a book publisher -- or at least a lender who'll give a reasonable mortgage rate to a self-employed mom.
Whether you're a new renter or previous homeowner looking to rent again, navigating the process of finding an apartment can be difficult. We're here to give you everything you need to know about renting and make your search for an apartment a little easier.